“Les Murray has earned his reputation not only as one of Australia’s finest writers but as one of the most engaging poets writing in English today.” —
Kate Kellaway, The Observer
(London) Taller When Prone
is Les Murray’s first volume of new poems since The Biplane Houses
, published in 2007. These poems combine a mastery of form with a matchless ear for the Australian vernacular. Many evoke rural life in Australia and elsewhere—its rhythms and rituals, the natural world, the landscape and the people who have shaped it. There are traveler’s tales, elegies, meditative fragments, and satirical sketches. Above all, there is Murray’s astonishing versatility, on display here at its exhilarating best.
“Equipped with a fierce moral vision and a sensuous musicality, [Murray] writes subtly about postcolonialism, urban sprawl and poverty and, in his most intimate poems, reminds us of the power of literature to transubstantiate grievance into insight. (His admirers have argued he ought to be considered for a Nobel.) But he is equally capable of writing emotionally simplistic and strangely soured poems in which the enraged adolescent emerges all but unmediated. This mercurial doubleness can make his work hard to categorize or describe: this is a mind at once revolutionary and reactionary. Or maybe just a poet who’s willing to show more id than most.” —Meghan O’Rourke, The New York Times Book Review